Publications by authors named "Jie Zheng"

1,682 Publications

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Power Generation from Moisture Fluctuations Using Polyvinyl Alcohol-Wrapped Dopamine/Polyvinylidene Difluoride Nanofibers.

Small 2021 Jul 27:e2102550. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, 210094, P. R. China.

Despite the boom in the water-triggered electric power generation technologies, few attempts have been made with a broader horizonyielding the electricity from sweat, which is of great value for low-power-consumption wearable electronics. Here, an electromechanical coupling and humidity-actuated two-in-one humidity actuator-driven piezoelectric generator (HAPG) are reported, that can yield continuous electric power from fluctuations in the ambient humidity. It is composed of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-wrapped highly aligned dopamine (DA)/polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) shell/core nanofibers ([email protected]/PVDF NFs). As-received [email protected]/PVDF NFs can exchange water with the ambient humidity to perform expansion and contraction and convert them into electric power. An all-fiber-based portable HAPG is fabricated and tested on human palm skin. The devices show high sensitivity and accuracy for converting the mental sweating-derived continuous moisture fluctuations into electric power. This electric power can be stored in capacitors, which is expected to power micro- and nano-electronic devices or be used in electrotherapy such as electrical stimulation to promote wound healing. Beyond this, the obtained voltage profiles exhibit unique features that can reflect the typical sweat damping oscillation curve features.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/smll.202102550DOI Listing
July 2021

Deteriorated regional calf microcirculation measured by contrast-free MRI in patients with diabetes mellitus and relation with physical activity.

Diab Vasc Dis Res 2021 Jul-Aug;18(4):14791641211029002

The Program in Physical Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Objective: To evaluate regional calf muscle microcirculation in people with diabetes mellitus (DM) with and without foot ulcers, compared to healthy control people without DM, using contrast-free magnetic resonance imaging methods.

Methods: Three groups of subjects were recruited: non-DM controls, DM, and DM with foot ulcers (DM + ulcer), all with ankle brachial index (ABI) > 0.9. Skeletal muscle blood flow (SMBF) and oxygen extraction fraction (SMOEF) in calf muscle were measured at rest and during a 5-min isometric ankle plantarflexion exercise. Subjects completed the Yale physical activity survey.

Results: The exercise SMBF (ml/min/100 g) of the medial gastrocnemius muscle were progressively impaired: 63.7 ± 18.9 for controls, 42.9 ± 6.7 for DM, and 36.2 ± 6.2 for DM + ulcer,  < 0.001. Corresponding exercise SMOEF was the lowest in DM + ulcers (0.48 ± 0.09). Exercise SMBF in the soleus muscle was correlated moderately with the Yale physical activity survey ( = 0.39,  < 0.01).

Conclusions: Contrast-free MR imaging identified progressively impaired regional microcirculation in medial gastrocnemius muscles of people with DM with and without foot ulcers. Exercise SMBF in the medial gastrocnemius muscle was the most sensitive index and was associated with HbA1c. Lower exercise SMBF in the soleus muscle was associated with lower Yale score.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/14791641211029002DOI Listing
July 2021

Risk factors of pregnancy failure in elderly infertility patients undergoing human assisted reproductive technology.

Am J Transl Res 2021 15;13(6):7306-7311. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Reproductive Medicine, Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Hubei Province Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

Objective: To investigate the risk factors of pregnancy failure in elderly infertile patients undergoing human assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Methods: A total of 565 infertile patients undergoing ART were selected and divided into failed pregnancy group (127 cases) and continued pregnancy group (438 cases). Their clinical data were collected, and the influencing factors of pregnancy failure were assessed and compared by univariate and multivariate analysis.

Results: The success and failure rates of in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in pregnant women were 79.44% and 20.56%, while those of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) were 75.96% and 24.04%, respectively. There was no remarkable difference between them (all P>0.05). Women's age, numbers of embryos transferred and previous abortion history in the failed pregnancy group were higher than those in the continued pregnancy group, while the number of high-quality embryos, BMI and endometrial thickness (EMT) on human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) day in the former were lower (all P<0.05).

Conclusion: The risk factors of ART pregnancy failure in elderly infertility patients are related to woman's age, numbers of embryos transferred, previous pregnancy abortion history, numbers of high-quality embryos and EMT on hCG day.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8290767PMC
June 2021

Microbial biomanufacture of metal/metallic nanomaterials and metabolic engineering: design strategies, fundamental mechanisms, and future opportunities.

J Mater Chem B 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Department of Chemical, Biomolecular, and Corrosion Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325, USA.

Biomanufacturing metal/metallic nanomaterials with ordered micro/nanostructures and controllable functions is of great importance in both fundamental studies and practical applications due to their low toxicity, lower pollution production, and energy conservation. Microorganisms, as efficient biofactories, have a significant ability to biomineralize and bioreduce metal ions that can be obtained as nanocrystals of varying morphologies and sizes. The development of nanoparticle biosynthesis maximizes the safety and sustainability of the nanoparticle preparation. Significant efforts and progress have been made to develop new green and environmentally friendly methods for biocompatible metal/metallic nanomaterials. In this review, we mainly focus on the microbial biomanufacture of different metal/metallic nanomaterials due to their unique advantages of wide availability, environmental acceptability, low cost, and circular sustainability. Specifically, we summarize recent and important advances in the synthesis strategies and mechanisms for different types of metal/metallic nanomaterials using different microorganisms. Finally, we highlight the current challenges and future research directions in this growing multidisciplinary field of biomaterials science, nanoscience, and nanobiotechnology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1tb01000jDOI Listing
July 2021

Association of diabetes with severity and mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a single-centered, retrospective study.

Arch Endocrinol Metab 2021 Jul 16. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Department of Pediatrics, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, P.R. China,

Objective: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread worldwide. The aim this study was to investigate the association of diabetes with severity and mortality among hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China.

Methods: This retrospective, single-center case study enrolled a total of 564 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 at the Seventh Hospital of Wuhan City, between January 20 and March 15, 2020.

Results: Among the 564 patients with confirmed COVID-19, 509 (85.1%) were discharged and 55 (9.8%) died. The median age was 59 years (range, 10-93 years). A total of 85 (15.1%) patients were diagnosed with diabetes on admission (median age, 65.0 [range, 34-91] years). Patients with diabetes had significantly higher proportions of critical cases (24 [28.2%] vs. 66 [13.8%]) and in-hospital mortality (17 [20%] vs. 38 [7.9%]). Moreover, patients with diabetes presented abnormal levels of multiple indicators concerning lymphopenia, inflammation, heart, liver, kidney, and lung function on admission, while diabetic patient group still display higher troponin T (TnT) levels when approaching discharge. The Kaplan-Meier survival curve indicated a trend toward poorer survival in diabetic patients compared to non-diabetic patients, also evidenced by abnormal laboratory biomarker changes regarding multiple system impairments among COVID-19 patients with diabetes with in-hospital death.

Conclusion: The detailed clinical investigation of 564 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 indicated a considerable association between diabetes and COVID-19 severity or mortality. Thus, more intensive treatment may be considered for COVID-19 patients with diabetes, especially regarding to cardiac injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20945/2359-3997000000384DOI Listing
July 2021

Pharmaco-omics data sheds light on therapy-oriented prospects of precision medicine.

EBioMedicine 2021 Jul 16;70:103493. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

School of Life Sciences and Technology, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8318983PMC
July 2021

Antimicrobial α-defensins as multi-target inhibitors against amyloid formation and microbial infection.

Chem Sci 2021 Jul 28;12(26):9124-9139. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Chemical, Biomolecular, and Corrosion Engineering, The University of Akron Ohio USA

Amyloid aggregation and microbial infection are considered as pathological risk factors for developing amyloid diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD), type II diabetes (T2D), Parkinson's disease (PD), and medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Due to the multifactorial nature of amyloid diseases, single-target drugs and treatments have mostly failed to inhibit amyloid aggregation and microbial infection simultaneously, thus leading to marginal benefits for amyloid inhibition and medical treatments. Herein, we proposed and demonstrated a new "anti-amyloid and antimicrobial hypothesis" to discover two host-defense antimicrobial peptides of α-defensins containing β-rich structures (human neutrophil peptide of HNP-1 and rabbit neutrophil peptide of NP-3A), which have demonstrated multi-target, sequence-independent functions to (i) prevent the aggregation and misfolding of different amyloid proteins of amyloid-β (Aβ, associated with AD), human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP, associated with T2D), and human calcitonin (hCT, associated with MTC) at sub-stoichiometric concentrations, (ii) reduce amyloid-induced cell toxicity, and (iii) retain their original antimicrobial activity upon the formation of complexes with amyloid peptides. Further structural analysis showed that the sequence-independent amyloid inhibition function of α-defensins mainly stems from their cross-interactions with amyloid proteins β-structure interactions. The discovery of antimicrobial peptides containing β-structures to inhibit both microbial infection and amyloid aggregation greatly expands the new therapeutic potential of antimicrobial peptides as multi-target amyloid inhibitors for better understanding pathological causes and treatments of amyloid diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1sc01133bDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8261786PMC
July 2021

Experimental Test of the Edwards Volume Ensemble for Tapped Granular Packings.

Phys Rev Lett 2021 Jul;127(1):018002

School of Physics and Astronomy, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China.

Using x-ray tomography, we experimentally investigate granular packings subject to mechanical tapping for three types of beads with different friction coefficients. We validate the Edwards volume ensemble in these three-dimensional granular systems and establish a granular version of thermodynamic zeroth law. Within the Edwards framework, we also explicitly clarify how friction influences granular statistical mechanics by modifying the density of states, which allows us to determine the entropy as a function of packing fraction and friction. Additionally, we obtain a granular jamming phase diagram based on geometric coordination number and packing fraction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.127.018002DOI Listing
July 2021

Quasi-Bragg plasmon modes for highly efficient plasmon-enhanced second-harmonic generation at near-ultraviolet frequencies.

Opt Express 2021 Jul;29(14):21444-21457

Boosting nonlinear frequency conversions with plasmonic nanostructures at near-ultraviolet (UV) frequencies remains a great challenge in nano-optics. Here we experimentally design and fabricate a plasmon-enhanced second-harmonic generation (PESHG) platform suitable for near-UV frequencies by integrating aluminum materials with grating configurations involved in structural heterogeneity. The SHG emission on the proposed platform can be amplified by up to three orders of magnitude with respect to unpatterned systems. Furthermore, the mechanism governing this amplification is identified as the occurrence of quasi-Bragg plasmon modes near second-harmonic wavelengths, such that a well-defined coherent interplay can be attained within the hot spot region and facilitate the efficient out-coupling of local second-harmonic lights to the far-field. Our work sheds light into the understanding of the role of grating-coupled surface plasmon resonances played in PESHG processes, and should pave an avenue toward UV nanosource and nonlinear metasurface applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.427717DOI Listing
July 2021

Changes in Direct Medical Cost and Medications for Managing Diabetes in Beijing, China, 2016 to 2018: Electronic Insurance Data Analysis.

Ann Fam Med 2021 Jul-Aug;19(4):332-341

Department of Endocrinology, Beijing Hospital, National Center of Gerontology, Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, PR China.

Purpose: Although the cost and complexity of managing diabetes is increasing around the world, placing greater burden on patients and their families, the cost of drug regimens prescribed to Chinese patients has not been evaluated. This study was conducted to evaluate the temporal changes in the costs and drugs used for people with diabetes.

Methods: Patients enrolled in Beijing Medical Insurance with outpatient medical records from 2016 through 2018 were included in this study. The outcomes of interest were: (1) the number of outpatient medications, (2) the number of comorbidities diagnosed, (3) the estimated annual cost of the outpatient drug regimen, (4) the drug therapy strategies used for diabetic patients, and (5) the most commonly prescribed classes of drugs.

Results: Over the 3-year period, there was a significant decrease (9.0%, <.001) in the average number of diabetes medications used. Both antiglycemic and non-antiglycemic drug use decreased by 3.6% and 12.9%, respectively. Similarly, for estimated annual costs of medication, an 18.4% ( <.05) decrease was observed, with a gradual decreased from ¥6,868 ($1,059) in 2016 to ¥5,605 ($865) in 2018.

Conclusion: This is the first large-scale cost analysis of the medical management of diabetes since the implementation of medical insurance in China. Despite the increasing availability of newer, more expensive diabetes drugs, there was a significant reduction in the number of diabetes medications used, that may be due to a more rational approach to optimizing metabolic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1370/afm.2686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8282297PMC
August 2020

The Translational Application of Hydrogel for Organoid Technology: Challenges and Future Perspectives.

Macromol Biosci 2021 Jul 14:e2100191. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology and Research), 2 Fusionopolis Way, Innovis, #08-03, Singapore, 138634, Singapore.

Human organoids mimic the physiology and tissue architecture of organs and are of great significance for promoting the study of human diseases. Traditionally, organoid cultures rely predominantly on animal or tumor-derived extracellular matrix (ECM), resulting in poor reproducibility. This limits their utility in for large-scale drug screening and application for regenerative medicine. Recently, synthetic polymeric hydrogels, with high biocompatibility and biodegradability, stability, uniformity of compositions, and high throughput properties, have emerged as potential materials for achieving 3D architectures for organoid cultures. Compared to conventional animal or tumor-derived organoids, these newly engineered hydrogel-based organoids more closely resemble human organs, as they are able to mimic native structural and functional properties observed in-situ. In this review, recent developments in hydrogel-based organoid culture will be summarized, emergent hydrogel technology will be highlighted, and future challenges in applying them to organoid culture will be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mabi.202100191DOI Listing
July 2021

A novel dephosphorylation targeting chimera selectively promoting tau removal in tauopathies.

Signal Transduct Target Ther 2021 Jul 14;6(1):269. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medicine, Key Laboratory of Education Ministry of China/Hubei Province for Neurological Disorders, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China.

Intraneuronal accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau is a hallmark pathology shown in over twenty neurodegenerative disorders, collectively termed as tauopathies, including the most common Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, selectively removing or reducing hyperphosphorylated tau is promising for therapies of AD and other tauopathies. Here, we designed and synthesized a novel DEPhosphorylation TArgeting Chimera (DEPTAC) to specifically facilitate the binding of tau to Bα-subunit-containing protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A-Bα), the most active tau phosphatase in the brain. The DEPTAC exhibited high efficiency in dephosphorylating tau at multiple AD-associated sites and preventing tau accumulation both in vitro and in vivo. Further studies revealed that DEPTAC significantly improved microtubule assembly, neurite plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in transgenic mice with inducible overexpression of truncated and neurotoxic human tau N368. Our data provide a strategy for selective removal of the hyperphosphorylated tau, which sheds new light for the targeted therapy of AD and related-tauopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41392-021-00669-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280143PMC
July 2021

Solid-State Double-Network Hydrogel Redox Electrolytes for High-Performance Flexible Supercapacitors.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2021 Jul 14;13(29):34168-34177. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Flexible supercapacitors have great potential applications in wearable and portable electronics, but their practical applications were limited due to the low energy density and mechanical flexibility of solid-state electrolytes used for the construction of flexible supercapacitors. In this study, we first report the solid-state double-network (DN) hydrogel electrolytes (HEs) incorporated with NaMoO redox additives. It is found that the solid-state DN HEs with NaMoO redox additives exhibit high electrochemical performance, excellent mechanical properties, and fast self-recovery features. We then demonstrate novel symmetric supercapacitors (SSCs) incorporated with the solid-state NaMoO DN HEs and the active carbon cloths as the electrodes. The SSCs exhibit a specific capacitance of 84 mF/cm at a current density of 1 mA/cm and an energy density of 70 μWh/cm at a power density of 3800 μWh/cm. Moreover, the SSCs retain approximately 80% capacitance retention after 7000 charge/discharge cycles, which indicates that the SSCs possess excellent flexibility and stability. All of these results demonstrate that the SSCs incorporated with the solid-state NaMoO DN HEs as energy-storage devices have great practical applications in wearable and portable electronics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.1c06980DOI Listing
July 2021

KG4SL: knowledge graph neural network for synthetic lethality prediction in human cancers.

Bioinformatics 2021 07;37(Suppl_1):i418-i425

School of Information Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 201210, China.

Motivation: Synthetic lethality (SL) is a promising gold mine for the discovery of anti-cancer drug targets. Wet-lab screening of SL pairs is afflicted with high cost, batch-effect, and off-target problems. Current computational methods for SL prediction include gene knock-out simulation, knowledge-based data mining and machine learning methods. Most of the existing methods tend to assume that SL pairs are independent of each other, without taking into account the shared biological mechanisms underlying the SL pairs. Although several methods have incorporated genomic and proteomic data to aid SL prediction, these methods involve manual feature engineering that heavily relies on domain knowledge.

Results: Here, we propose a novel graph neural network (GNN)-based model, named KG4SL, by incorporating knowledge graph (KG) message-passing into SL prediction. The KG was constructed using 11 kinds of entities including genes, compounds, diseases, biological processes and 24 kinds of relationships that could be pertinent to SL. The integration of KG can help harness the independence issue and circumvent manual feature engineering by conducting message-passing on the KG. Our model outperformed all the state-of-the-art baselines in area under the curve, area under precision-recall curve and F1. Extensive experiments, including the comparison of our model with an unsupervised TransE model, a vanilla graph convolutional network model, and their combination, demonstrated the significant impact of incorporating KG into GNN for SL prediction.

Availability And Implementation: : KG4SL is freely available at https://github.com/JieZheng-ShanghaiTech/KG4SL.

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btab271DOI Listing
July 2021

Automatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Detection in Whole Slide Images Using Deep Convolutional Neural Networks.

Front Oncol 2021 25;11:665929. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Yihai Center, Tsimage Medical Technology, Shenzhen, China.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the deadliest cancer types worldwide, with the lowest 5-year survival rate among all kinds of cancers. Histopathology image analysis is considered a gold standard for PDAC detection and diagnosis. However, the manual diagnosis used in current clinical practice is a tedious and time-consuming task and diagnosis concordance can be low. With the development of digital imaging and machine learning, several scholars have proposed PDAC analysis approaches based on feature extraction methods that rely on field knowledge. However, feature-based classification methods are applicable only to a specific problem and lack versatility, so that the deep-learning method is becoming a vital alternative to feature extraction. This paper proposes the first deep convolutional neural network architecture for classifying and segmenting pancreatic histopathological images on a relatively large WSI dataset. Our automatic patch-level approach achieved 95.3% classification accuracy and the WSI-level approach achieved 100%. Additionally, we visualized the classification and segmentation outcomes of histopathological images to determine which areas of an image are more important for PDAC identification. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model can effectively diagnose PDAC using histopathological images, which illustrates the potential of this practical application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2021.665929DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8267174PMC
June 2021

De Novo Design of Peptidic Positive Allosteric Modulators Targeting TRPV1 with Analgesic Effects.

Adv Sci (Weinh) 2021 Jul 11:e2101716. Epub 2021 Jul 11.

Kidney Disease Center, First Affiliated Hospital and Department of Biophysics, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 310058, China.

Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) ion channel is a nociceptor critically involved in pain sensation. Direct blockade of TRPV1 exhibits significant analgesic effects but also incurs severe side effects such as hyperthermia, causing failures of TRPV1 inhibitors in clinical trials. In order to selectively target TRPV1 channels that are actively involved in pain-sensing, peptidic positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) based on the high-resolution structure of the TRPV1 intracellular ankyrin-repeat like domain are de novo designed. The hotspot centric approach is optimized for protein design; its usage in Rosetta increases the success rate in protein binder design. It is demonstrated experimentally, with a combination of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging, surface plasmon resonance, and patch-clamp recording, that the designed PAMs bind to TRPV1 with nanomolar affinity and allosterically enhance its response to ligand activation as it is designed. It is further demonstrated that the designed PAM exhibits long-lasting in vivo analgesic effects in rats without changing their body temperature, suggesting that they have potentials for developing into novel analgesics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/advs.202101716DOI Listing
July 2021

Standardization of assay representation in the Ontology for Biomedical Investigations.

Database (Oxford) 2021 Jul;2021

Department of Genetics and Institute for Biomedical Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Civic Center Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

The Ontology for Biomedical Investigations (OBI) underwent a focused review of assay term annotations, logic and hierarchy with a goal to improve and standardize these terms. As a result, inconsistencies in W3C Web Ontology Language (OWL) expressions were identified and corrected, and additionally, standardized design patterns and a formalized template to maintain them were developed. We describe here this informative and productive process to describe the specific benefits and obstacles for OBI and the universal lessons for similar projects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/database/baab040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8271124PMC
July 2021

Cascade intramolecular Prins/Friedel-Crafts cyclization for the synthesis of 4-aryltetralin-2-ols and 5-aryltetrahydro-5-benzo[7]annulen-7-ols.

Beilstein J Org Chem 2021 22;17:1481-1489. Epub 2021 Jun 22.

Department of Chemistry, Fudan University, 2005 Songhu Road, Shanghai 200438, P. R. China.

The treatment of 2-(2-vinylphenyl)acetaldehydes or 3-(2-vinylphenyl)propanals with BF·EtO results in an intramolecular Prins reaction affording intermediary benzyl carbenium ions, which are then trapped by a variety of electron-rich aromatics via Friedel-Crafts alkylation. This cascade Prins/Friedel-Crafts cyclization protocol paves an expedient path to medicinally useful 4-aryltetralin-2-ol and 5-aryltetrahydro-5-benzo[7]annulen-7-ol derivatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3762/bjoc.17.104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8239259PMC
June 2021

Amino acid transporter (AAT) gene family in foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.): widespread family expansion, functional differentiation, roles in quality formation and response to abiotic stresses.

BMC Genomics 2021 Jul 8;22(1):519. Epub 2021 Jul 8.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

Background: Amino acid transporters (AATs) plays an essential roles in growth and development of plants, including amino acids long-range transport, seed germination, quality formation, responsiveness to pathogenic bacteria and abiotic stress by modulating the transmembrane transfer of amino acids. In this study, we performed a genome-wide screening to analyze the AAT genes in foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.), especially those associated with quality formation and abiotic stresses response.

Results: A total number of 94 AAT genes were identified and divided into 12 subfamilies by their sequence characteristics and phylogenetic relationship. A large number (58/94, 62%) of AAT genes in foxtail millet were expanded via gene duplication, involving 13 tandem and 12 segmental duplication events. Tandemly duplicated genes had a significant impact on their functional differentiation via sequence variation, structural variation and expression variation. Further comparison in multiple species showed that in addition to paralogous genes, the expression variations of the orthologous AAT genes also contributed to their functional differentiation. The transcriptomic comparison of two millet cultivars verified the direct contribution of the AAT genes such as SiAAP1, SiAAP8, and SiAUX2 in the formation of grain quality. In addition, the qRT-PCR analysis suggested that several AAT genes continuously responded to diverse abiotic stresses, such as SiATLb1, SiANT1. Finally, combined with the previous studies and analysis on sequence characteristics and expression patterns of AAT genes, the possible functions of the foxtail millet AAT genes were predicted.

Conclusion: This study for the first time reported the evolutionary features, functional differentiation, roles in the quality formation and response to abiotic stresses of foxtail millet AAT gene family, thus providing a framework for further functional analysis of SiAAT genes, and also contributing to the applications of AAT genes in improving the quality and resistance to abiotic stresses of foxtail millet, and other cereal crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-021-07779-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8268433PMC
July 2021

One-pot synthesis of AuAgPd trimetallic nanoparticles with peroxidase-like activity for colorimetric assays.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2021 Jul 7. Epub 2021 Jul 7.

Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Advanced Catalytic Materials and Reaction Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, 230009, Anhui, China.

In this work, AuAgPd trimetallic nanoparticles (AuAgPd TNPs) with intrinsic and broad-spectrum peroxidase-like activity were synthesized through a one-pot method by co-reduction of HAuCl, AgNO, and NaPdCl with NaBH. The morphology and composition of AuAgPd TNPs were characterized. The peroxidase-like activity of AuAgPd TNPs were highly dependent on the composition and nanostructure of AuAgPd TNPs. Rationally designed AuAgPd TNPs could catalyze the oxidation of various chromogenic substrates including 3,3'5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB), 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) (ABTS), and o-phenylenediamine (OPD) by HO to generate blue, green, and yellow products, respectively. Kinetic assays indicated that AuAgPd TNPs exhibited high affinity to HO. Then, sensitive colorimetric assays were developed for HO detection by using ABTS, OPD, and TMB as chromogenic substrates, respectively. Lowest limit of detection (LOD) of 3.1 μM with wide linear range of 6-250 μM was obtained by using ABTS as substrate. Hydrogen sulfide ion (HS) could effectively inhibit the peroxidase-like activity of AuAgPd TNPs. Thus, a selective colorimetric assay was further fabricated for HS detection with LOD of 2.3 μM. This work provides an effective way for the synthesis of trimetallic nanozyme with peroxidase-like activity and also for tailoring their catalytic activity for desired use. Graphical abstract.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-021-03514-1DOI Listing
July 2021

Intake of processed meat, but not sodium, is associated with risk of colorectal cancer: Evidence from a large prospective cohort and two-sample Mendelian randomization.

Clin Nutr 2021 Jul 14;40(7):4551-4559. Epub 2021 Jun 14.

Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Primary Care, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; SH Big Data Decision Analytics Research Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Background & Aims: Processed meat and high sodium intake are common in Western diet. The objective was to examine their independent effects on the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods: We performed both observational analysis with UK Biobank and genetic analysis with Mendelian randomization (MR). The 24-h urinary sodium (UNa) and reported intake of processed meat were fitted on incident CRC by multivariable Cox proportional hazard model, adjusted for covariates, such as age, gender, family history, etc. Different sodium measures were used for sensitivity analyses. Two-sample MR analyses were performed using summary data from genome-wide association studies of UNa and CRC. Multivariable MR was adjusted for body mass index.

Results: We included 415 524 eligible participants from UK Biobank. During a median follow-up of 11.1 years, 2663 participants were diagnosed with CRC. High intake of processed meat independently increased risk of CRC by 23% (HR 1.23; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.46), but 24-h UNa was not significantly associated with CRC (HR 0.96; 95% CI: 0.87 to 1.06). Furthermore, MR also showed little evidence for the effect of UNa on CRC (OR 1.02; 95% CI: 0.11 to 9.42). Sensitivity analyses showed consistent results across different measurements of sodium intake.

Conclusions: Intake of processed meat had an independent effect on the risk of CRC, but the risk was not associated with sodium level. Reduction of processed meat intake may be an effective strategy for CRC prevention, while sodium reduction should still be recommended to achieve other health benefits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.05.036DOI Listing
July 2021

CCND1 copy number increase and cyclin D1 expression in acral melanoma: a comparative study of fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in a Chinese cohort.

Diagn Pathol 2021 Jul 5;16(1):60. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Department of Pathology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Third Hospital, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing, 100191, China.

Background: CCND1 copy number increase is characteristic of acral melanoma and is useful in distinguishing benign and malignant acral melanocytic lesions. Increase of the gene copy number may result in protein overexpression. This raises the possibility that detection of high expression of cyclin D1 by immunohistochemistry (IHC) may be used as a surrogate for direct evaluation of increase in the CCND1 gene copy number.

Methods: We examined increases in CCND1 copy number with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and examined cyclin D1 protein expression with IHC in 61 acral melanomas.

Results: Using FISH, 29 acral melanomas (29/61, 47.5%) showed increase in the CCND1 copy number, including 8 (8/61, 13.1%) which showed low-level increase in the CCND1 copy number and 21 (21/61, 34.4%) with high-level increase in the CCND1 copy number. By analysis of IHC, the median IHC score was 15% (range: 1-80%) in acral melanomas with no CCND1 copy number alteration. In acral melanomas with low-level CCND1 copy number increase, the median IHC score was 25% (range: 3-90%). In acral melanomas with high-level CCND1 copy number increase, the median IHC score was 60% (range: 1-95%). Comparing FISH and IHC, cyclin D1 protein expression level has no corelation with the CCND1 copy number in acral melanomas which have no CCND1 copy number alteration and low-level CCND1 copy number increase (P = 0.108). Cyclin D1 protein expression level correlated positively with CCND1 copy number in acral melanomas with high-level CCND1 copy number increase (P = 0.038). The sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of using cyclin D1 IHC to predict CCND1 FISH result was 72.4, 62.5 and 63.6%. Increase in CCND1 copy number was associated with Breslow thickness in invasive acral melanoma.

Conclusion: High-level increase in the CCND1 copy number can induce high cyclin D1 protein expression in acral melanomas. However low-level increase and normal CCND1 copy number have no obvious correlation with protein expression. Cyclin D1 IHC cannot serve as a surrogate for CCND1 FISH in acral melanomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13000-021-01116-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8259423PMC
July 2021

Chromosome-level genome assembly of Scapharca kagoshimensis reveals the expanded molecular basis of heme biosynthesis in ark shells.

Mol Ecol Resour 2021 Jul 2. Epub 2021 Jul 2.

Liaoning Ocean and Fisheries Science Research Institute and Dalian Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources for Marine Shellfish, Dalian, China.

Ark shells are commercially important clam species that inhabit in muddy sediments of shallow coasts in East Asia. For a long time, the lack of genome resources has hindered scientific research of ark shells. Here, we report a high-quality chromosome-level genome assembly of Scapharca kagoshimensis, with an aim to unravel the molecular basis of heme biosynthesis, and develop genomic resources for genetic breeding and population genetics in ark shells. Nineteen scaffolds corresponding to 19 chromosomes were constructed from 938 contigs (contig N50 = 2.01 Mb) to produce a final high-quality assembly with a total length of 1.11 Gb and scaffold N50 around 60.64 Mb. The genome assembly represents 93.4% completeness via matching 303 eukaryota core conserved genes. A total of 24,908 protein-coding genes were predicted and 24,551 genes (98.56%) of which were functionally annotated. The enrichment analyses suggested that genes in heme biosynthesis pathways were expanded and positive selection of the haemoglobin genes was also found in the genome of S. kagoshimensis, which gives important insights into the molecular mechanisms and evolution of the heme biosynthesis in mollusca. The valuable genome assembly of S. kagoshimensis would provide a solid foundation for investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the diverse biological functions and evolutionary adaptations of S. kagoshimensis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13460DOI Listing
July 2021

Multi-site, multi-platform comparison of MRI T1 measurement using the system phantom.

PLoS One 2021 30;16(6):e0252966. Epub 2021 Jun 30.

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, United State of America.

Recent innovations in quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) measurement methods have led to improvements in accuracy, repeatability, and acquisition speed, and have prompted renewed interest to reevaluate the medical value of quantitative T1. The purpose of this study was to determine the bias and reproducibility of T1 measurements in a variety of MRI systems with an eye toward assessing the feasibility of applying diagnostic threshold T1 measurement across multiple clinical sites. We used the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine/National Institute of Standards and Technology (ISMRM/NIST) system phantom to assess variations of T1 measurements, using a slow, reference standard inversion recovery sequence and a rapid, commonly-available variable flip angle sequence, across MRI systems at 1.5 tesla (T) (two vendors, with number of MRI systems n = 9) and 3 T (three vendors, n = 18). We compared the T1 measurements from inversion recovery and variable flip angle scans to ISMRM/NIST phantom reference values using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) to test for statistical differences between T1 measurements grouped according to MRI scanner manufacturers and/or static field strengths. The inversion recovery method had minor over- and under-estimations compared to the NMR-measured T1 values at both 1.5 T and 3 T. Variable flip angle measurements had substantially greater deviations from the NMR-measured T1 values than the inversion recovery measurements. At 3 T, the measured variable flip angle T1 for one vendor is significantly different than the other two vendors for most of the samples throughout the clinically relevant range of T1. There was no consistent pattern of discrepancy between vendors. We suggest establishing rigorous quality control procedures for validating quantitative MRI methods to promote confidence and stability in associated measurement techniques and to enable translation of diagnostic threshold from the research center to the entire clinical community.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252966PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8244851PMC
June 2021

A Case of Annular Epidermolytic Ichthyosis Resulting from a de Novo Mutation, p.I479T, in Gene.

Indian J Dermatol 2021 Mar-Apr;66(2):224

Department of Dermatology, Rui Jin Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.

We report a case of annular epidermolytic ichthyosis (AEI) resulting from gene mutation. AEI is a rare autosomal dominantly inherited cornification disorder and is a distinct phenotypic variant of bullous congenital ichthyosiform erythroderma. Blisters and erosions in AEI are widespread; hence, initially, it is sometimes mistaken with epidermolysis bullosa, acrodermatitis enteropathica, and staphylococcal scalded skin syndrome. Genetic tests including next-generation sequencing and Sanger sequencing are essential for AEI diagnosis. AEI is treated symptomatically by wound dressing, prevention of infection, and the use of emollients, humectants, and keratolytic products; topical or systemic retinoids may also prove helpful.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/ijd.IJD_115_20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8208282PMC
June 2021

Characterization of the biocontrol activity of three bacterial isolates against the phytopathogen Erwinia amylovora.

Microbiologyopen 2021 Jun;10(3):e1202

Centre Armand-Frappier Santé Biotechnologie, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Laval, Québec, H7V 1B7, Canada.

Antibiotics are sprayed on apple and pear orchards to control, among other pathogens, the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, the causative agent of fire blight. As with many other pathogens, we observe the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains of E. amylovora. Consequently, growers are looking for alternative solutions to combat fire blight. To find alternatives to antibiotics against this pathogen, we have previously isolated three bacterial strains with antagonistic and extracellular activity against E. amylovora, both in vitro and in planta, corresponding to three different bacterial genera: Here, we identified the inhibitory mode of action of each of the three isolates against E. amylovora. Isolate Bacillus amyloliquefaciens subsp. plantarum (now B. velezensis) FL50S produces several secondary metabolites including surfactins, iturins, and fengycins. Specifically, we identified oxydifficidin as the most active against E. amylovora S435. Pseudomonas poae FL10F produces an active extracellular compound against E. amylovora S435 that can be attributed to white-line-inducing principle (WLIP), a cyclic lipopeptide belonging to the viscosin subfamily (massetolide E, F, L, or viscosin). Pantoea agglomerans NY60 has a direct cell-to-cell antagonistic effect against E. amylovora S435. By screening mutants of this strain generated by random transposon insertion with decreased antagonist activity against strain S435, we identified several defective transposants. Of particular interest was a mutant in a gene coding for a Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) transporter corresponding to a transmembrane protein predicted to be involved in the extracytoplasmic localization of griseoluteic acid, an intermediate in the biosynthesis of the broad-spectrum phenazine antibiotic D-alanylgriseoluteic acid.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mbo3.1202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8182272PMC
June 2021

Impacts of riparian width and stream channel width on ecological networks in main waterways and tributaries.

Sci Total Environ 2021 Jun 17;792:148457. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Key Laboratory of Eco-Environments in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region (Ministry of Education), Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Resource Conservation and Germplasm Innovation, College of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China. Electronic address:

Riparian buffer width and stream channel width have different impacts on ecological networks (e.g., plant cover, regeneration, exotics, erosion, habitat, and stressors) and provide various ecosystem services. The protection of riparian zones of increasing widths for higher-order streams and connected tributaries alongside mega-reservoirs and around dams is of great global significance. However, it remains unclear which protection strategies are most effective for such zones. By applying a rapid field-based approach with 326 transects on an inundated area of 58,000 km within the Three Gorges Dam Reservoir (TGDR) in China, we found that riparian buffer areas were influenced differently by broad-ranging widths. The riparian buffer width of 101.84 ± 72.64 m (mean ± standard deviation) had the greatest impact on the main waterway, whereas the stream channel width of 99.87 ± 97.10 m was most influential in tributaries. The correlation coefficient strengths among ecological and stress parameters (independently) were relatively greater in the main waterway riparian zones; the highest value was r = 0.930 using Pearson correlation (p < 0.05). In contrast, stress parameters revealed substantial and strong relationships with ecological parameters in tributaries, with the highest value being r = 0.551. Riparian width had the strongest influence on buffer vegetation scales, high-impact exotics, and bank stability. In comparison, channel width had the greatest effect on tree roots, dominant tree regeneration, and agricultural farming. These parameters showed distinctive responses in the shapes of indexing in higher-order streams and connected tributaries. These observations confirm the urgent need for research on regional-based extended riparian areas managed by the same administration strategies. Revised guidelines are needed to protect massive dam and reservoir ecosystems from further deterioration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148457DOI Listing
June 2021

The causal effects of serum lipids and apolipoproteins on kidney function: multivariable and bidirectional Mendelian-randomization analyses.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Jun 21. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

K.G. Jebsen Center for Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Background: The causal nature of the observed associations between serum lipids and apolipoproteins and kidney function are unclear.

Methods: Using two-sample and multivariable Mendelian randomization (MR), we examined the causal effects of serum lipids and apolipoproteins on kidney function, indicated by the glomerular-filtration rate estimated using creatinine (eGFRcrea) or cystatin C (eGFRcys) and the urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR). We obtained lipid- and apolipoprotein-associated genetic variants from the Global Lipids Genetics Consortium (n = 331 368) and UK Biobank (n = 441 016), respectively, and kidney-function markers from the Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT; n = 69 736) and UK Biobank (n = 464 207). The reverse causal direction was examined using variants associated with kidney-function markers selected from recent genome-wide association studies.

Results: There were no strong associations between genetically predicted lipid and apolipoprotein levels with kidney-function markers. Some, but inconsistent, evidence suggested a weak association of higher genetically predicted atherogenic lipid levels [indicated by low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides and apolipoprotein B] with increased eGFR and UACR. For high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), results differed between eGFRcrea and eGFRcys, but neither analysis suggested substantial effects. We found no clear evidence of a reverse causal effect of eGFR on lipid or apolipoprotein traits, but higher UACR was associated with higher LDL-C, triglyceride and apolipoprotein B levels.

Conclusion: Our MR estimates suggest that serum lipid and apolipoprotein levels do not cause substantial changes in kidney function. A possible weak effect of higher atherogenic lipids on increased eGFR and UACR warrants further investigation. Processes leading to higher UACR may lead to more atherogenic lipid levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab014DOI Listing
June 2021

Large-scale integration of meta-QTL and genome-wide association study discovers the genomic regions and candidate genes for yield and yield-related traits in bread wheat.

Theor Appl Genet 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, China.

Key Message: Based on the large-scale integration of meta-QTL and Genome-Wide  Association Study, 76 high-confidence MQTL regions and 237 candidate genes that affected wheat yield and yield-related traits were discovered. Improving yield and yield-related traits are key goals in wheat breeding program. The integration of accumulated wheat genetic resources provides an opportunity to uncover important genomic regions and candidate genes that affect wheat yield. Here, a comprehensive meta-QTL analysis was conducted on 2230 QTL of yield-related traits obtained from 119 QTL studies. These QTL were refined into 145 meta-QTL (MQTL), and 89 MQTL were verified by GWAS with different natural populations. The average confidence interval (CI) of these MQTL was 2.92 times less than that of the initial QTL. Furthermore, 76 core MQTL regions with a physical distance less than 25 Mb were detected. Based on the homology analysis and expression patterns, 237 candidate genes in the MQTL involved in photoperiod response, grain development, multiple plant growth regulator pathways, carbon and nitrogen metabolism and spike and flower organ development were determined. A novel candidate gene TaKAO-4A was confirmed to be significantly associated with grain size, and a CAPS marker was developed based on its dominant haplotype. In summary, this study clarified a method based on the integration of meta-QTL, GWAS and homology comparison to reveal the genomic regions and candidate genes that affect important yield-related traits in wheat. This work will help to lay a foundation for the identification, transfer and aggregation of these important QTL or candidate genes in wheat high-yield breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-021-03881-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Tissue Transglutaminase Impairs HTR-8/SVneo Trophoblast Cell Invasion via the PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathway.

Gynecol Obstet Invest 2021 17;86(3):264-272. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Department of Obstetrics, Guangzhou Medical University Affiliated Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, Guangzhou, China.

Objectives: The pathogenesis of preeclampsia (PE) is associated with impaired trophoblast invasion, which results in placental insufficiency. Our earlier studies demonstrated that tissue transglutaminase (tTG) is highly expressed in human PE serum. However, whether tTG participates in trophoblast invasion remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to determine the role and mechanism of tTG in regulating matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2/MMP-9 expression to reduce trophoblast invasiveness in PE.

Methods: HTR-8/SVneo cells were transfected with a lentivirus vector and small interfering RNA targeting tTG. The protein level was detected by Western blotting. Cell proliferation and apoptosis were assessed by MTS and flow cytometry assays, respectively. Cell invasion was investigated by Transwell assay. In addition, the influence of tTG on PI3K and AKT mRNA levels in HTR-8/SVneo cells was evaluated using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR.

Results: tTG-overexpression inhibited HTR-8/SVneo cell proliferation and invasion and promoted apoptosis. In addition, upregulation of tTG induced an increase of PI3K and phosphorylated AKT and a decrease of MMP-2 and MMP-9 expression. tTG-knockdown significantly promoted the proliferation and invasion of HTR-8/SVneo cells and inhibited the apoptosis. Furthermore, the PI3K expression level was reduced, and the MMP-2/MMP-9 protein levels were increased.

Conclusion: Taken together, the present study demonstrated that tTG-overexpression inhibited HTR-8/SVneo cell invasion via reducing the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by activating PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, which may lead to the occurrence or development of PE. The present data provide new insights into modulation of tTG expression as a potential therapeutic target for PE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000515086DOI Listing
June 2021
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